Doing Life Together

smaller worryJohn admits. He  struggles with addiction. He is determined to beat his habit but gives in, feels bad, intends to make a change, but ends up slipping time and again. When he does, it deeply hurts his wife. He sees the pain in her face and feels bad that he has hurt her. John is remorseful but not repentant.

Regret and remorse are different than godly sorrow noted in 2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death (NKJV). Godly sorry produces repentance. It is based on a belief that a behavior is wrong and must be stopped. It motivates one to make a turn in direction and change behavior.

Regret and remorse have consequences, but do not necessarily address the wrong-doing of those consequences. People get caught and can feel remorse because there are consequences to their actions. For example, you can speed down the highway, get caught and feel remorse. But you may not feel repentant over the speeding. You have remorse because you received a ticket. The ticket temporarily slows you down, but eventually you creep back up to that speeding level.

And so is the problem with remorse vs. repentance. Remorse can be temporary. It doesn’t always lead to change. Remorse can leave you filled with guilt that eventually leads to shame. This type of “worldly sorry” can eat you up emotionally. But repentance leads to confessing our sin to God, leaving it at the cross, and asking the Holy Spirit to change us. It brings a change in thinking and behaving. It is taking responsibility for our actions, not because they hurt people, but because they are sin. Ultimately, it leads to freedom.

Repentant people change from their previous ways and don’t wallow in guilt. Repentance comes when we cry out to God and say, “There is nothing in me that can make this change. I need you.” When we do, God forgives us. We turn from our sin and allow His Spirit to help us overcome.

To be free, repent and allow God to change you.


Letting Go of Worry“Holding on to anxiety is like character assassination to our Father. “

This statement took me aback. It is a quote from my pastor. I had never quite thought of holding on to anxiety is this way.

As the pastor preached the Sunday service on being anxious about nothing, I thought about his statement. When we hold on to worry or anxiety over our future, we are telling God we don’t trust Him. When I wrote, Letting Go of Worry, I talked about the root of worry–doubting God. So I see the connection. Being worried is saying to God you and your Word aren’t enough. Now, I know there is grace but God wants us to ultimate trust Him for everything and not hold on to worry.

Every time now, I am prone to worry, I try to think about this statement. What am I saying about God and who He is? Do I believe His promises? Do I cast my cares on Him and trust Him to take care of me?

Taking my thoughts captive is a mental habit I am trying to cultivate. Worried thoughts come and go, but I choose not to settle in with them or allow them to wander in worried waters. I take the thought captive–put it in confinement, acknowledge it but then direct it to God. Here God, this is my worry. You said to bring it to you and trust you. I don’t see an answer, a way out but you promised to walk me through the difficulty and never leave me. And your Word says there is a way of escape from all this anxiety–not necessarily problems, but the torment of anxiety.

Help us to be like your Apostle Peter who slept soundly in prison awaiting his possible execution. As the church prayed for Peter, he slept so well in prison that the angel of the Lord had to shine an intense light and hit him on his side to wake him up! Talk about trust!!! Truly, his mind was kept in perfect peace as he fixed his thoughts on God.

So what ever it is you are facing, turn to God. Fix your eyes on Him, not the circumstances. Trust Him to take care of you in the process of pain and uncertainty. Don’t doubt as you are saying He isn’t quite enough for you or the situation. God, helps us to trust you more!


For more help with worry, click on my book, Letting Go of Worry and order a copy today!




ID-100275878At the age of 10, Nicole, like so many children adored her mom. One day, the two were at the park playing and having a great time. Suddenly her mom fell to the ground and died. Nicole was traumatized by that event, but her family struggled through the grief. Her mom had an undiagnosed brain aneurism.

Trying to cope with the sudden and unexpected loss of her mom, Nicole turned to food for comfort. Eventually, she gained weight and became obsessed with eating and dieting. Food occupied her thoughts. Later,  her brother was killed in a car accident. In college, Nicole was date raped and ended up in a therapist office diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). She described an addiction to food, needing it to calm her down and bring her feelings of comfort.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis recently published a study is JAMA Psychiatry that looked at the relationship between PTSD and eating. What they found was that women with symptoms of PTSD are twice as likely to have food addiction than women with no such history. And when those women experience trauma early on in life, the likelihood of eating problems is even greater. In fact, the more trauma symptoms, the more likely the connection between trauma and food addiction. But this is only a connection and not a cause. One caution is that a person with food addiction could experience trauma, so there is no direct cause involved here, just an association.

Food addiction is a type of psychological dependence on eating  and is still somewhat controversial as an actual addictive disorder. That said, it makes sense that some women would turn to food for comfort when traumatized. Previous research has supported the idea that obesity and underweight are linked to trauma.

So if you have experienced trauma and find yourself overeating to reduce anxiety, work with a therapist to cope in other ways. Food problems and psychological dependence bring another set of problems into functioning in daily life. Therapist who work with eating disorders can help you learn other ways to cope than using food.

ID-100107957Dave is getting a promotion. His boss is impressed with his hard work. But could Dave’s work success be related to his wife’s conscientious personality?

Possibly! Your spouse might influence your career.

Conscientious, hard-working, agreeable….are these traits you list on your THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN A SPOUSE? Most of us probably don’t consider these traits when it comes to our own work success. After all, our spouse doesn’t go to work with us. What could he or she possibly have to do with our success?

More than you might think because what happens behind those closed doors at home matters!

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis published a study in Psychological Science that looked at the influence of a spouse on career success. They found that spouses who were conscientious and created a satisfying home life influenced their partner’s future job satisfaction, promotion and income.

In other words, home life affects your job performance. You might be thinking, “Well, yes, we all sort of know that,” but your intimate relationship shapes you in ways that you might not think about. For example, researchers are thinking that if you have a spouse who models hard work,  it rub off on you.

Or how about the idea that when your conscientious other gets a lot accomplished at the home front, he/she frees up more time for you to couple and do other things?

Or maybe marrying someone who is conscientious means you have better overall relationships.

Whatever the case, spouses who are agreeable, open, extraverted and conscientious help their partners at work despite their lack of physical presence.

So when you look for a spouse, find a conscientious one. It just might propel your career in a more positive direction.